I’ve noticed that people who have the kind of success I want to emulate—who obviously hear God and do what he says—face huge setbacks at various points in their lives. What I’ve found is that their response determines whether the setback destroys them or propels them.
I woke up this morning with this thought ringing in my head:
Tough times both toughen and tenderize the Christ-follower.
They toughen in the sense that the kinds of trials that used to knock them off course now barely constitute a blip on their radar.
They tenderize in the sense that the disciple becomes more sensitive to God’s heart and people’s needs.
There are two verses I’ve grown used to clinging to when trials hit and I otherwise don’t know what to do:
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
- Romans 8:28-29
I like what Ron Edmondson posted this morning on this subject:
Over the years, I’ve observed that many times the initial reaction to tragedy often dictates the final outcome of the situation.
I’m not talking about our split second response to disappointment, but the way a person responds in the days and weeks following the receipt of an unfortunate situation. Initially we react with emotions. That’s normal. The key is how we respond after the initial shock is gone. Ideally, as we mature, our response time should improve, shortening the reaction from the purely emotional release, which is natural, to the more confident and assured position, which is making rational decisions in spite of our emotional state.
Doing that takes discipline and practice.